With shades of Dreyer and Bresson, buzzed-about “Tikkun,” Avishai Sivan’s drama about an ultra-Orthodox man grappling with questions of faith in Jerusalem, has been acquired by Kino Lorber for US release.
Winner of top honors at the 32nd Jerusalem Film Festival, including best film, best screenplay, best cinematography (Shai Goldman) and best actor (Khalifa Natour), the film took Locarno’s Special Jury Prize before making its US premiere at Telluride. Further US festival dates will be announced soon, before a full theatrical, VOD and home media release in 2016.
Here’s the synopsis:
Haim-Aaron (played by Aharon Traitel) is a bright, Ultra-Orthodox religious scholar living in Jerusalem. One evening, following a self-imposed fast, Haim-Aaron collapses and loses consciousness. The paramedics announce his death, but his father (played by Khalifa Natour) takes over resuscitation efforts and, beyond all expectations, Haim-Aaron comes back to life.After the accident, try as he might, Haim-Aaron remains apathetic to his studies. He feels overwhelmed by a sudden awakening of his body and suspects that this is a test from God. He wonders if he should stray from the prescribed path and find a way to rekindle his faith. His father, noticing his son’s changed behavior, tries to forgive him – but is also tormented by the fear of having crossed God’s will on the night he resuscitated his son.
The black-and-white film has scored raves on the festival circuit, with Screen Daily writing, “Avishai Sivan lays down a marker as the potential Carl Dreyer or Lars Von Trier of Israeli cinema with ‘Tikkun,’ an impressive but relentlessly austere depiction of a crisis of faith.”